Ph.D. student Megan Aoki has been unearthing all kinds of achievements and research milestones in her time at Trent, most recently as the recipient of the International Dictyostelium Graduate Student Award.
“It is so easy in research to get consumed in your own little world of experiments, so this was a refreshing and exhilarating validation that the work I am doing truly is meaningful and is recognized in my research community – such an honour and truly humbling experience,” explains Megan, who is preparing to defend her Ph.D. in Spring 2022.
The International Dictyostelium Graduate Student Award is given annually to a graduate student within a community of researchers who use the organism, Dictyostelium, to answer specific research questions. The community of researchers extends globally, and has been hosting international conferences since 1977. Dr. Robert Huber, one of her research supervisors, nominated Megan for the award.
"The International Dictyostelium Graduate Student Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field by a graduate student,” shares Professor Robert Huber. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for Megan and is a testament to her hard work and the impact her research is making within the International science community. It's a well-deserved honour."
Megan describes the opportunity of working with Prof. Huber, as well as leading Trent faculty experts Dr. Neil Emery, Dr. Craig Brunetti, as “an incredible learning experience.”
Megan goes on to explain that her research using Dictyostelium explores “a variety of fundamental cell and molecular biology processes. Dicty, is an incredibly unique soil microbe, technically classified as an amoeba, which can exist both as a single and multicellular organism. Because of this, we are able to look at important biological processes at both the single and multicellular levels, which is very unique.”
“I am so grateful for the support I have received from my three supervisors and lab mates over the last three years, which has ultimately made the outcome of this result possible for me.”